Good Intentions

Journal Entry // March 3, 2022

But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

Mark 14:31 ESV

The path to failure is paved with good intentions – my good intentions. For I am truly much like the disciples and their emphatic declaration of fidelity and solidarity. My mouth speaks utterances of faith and loyalty that my heart fails to fulfill. There is no lack of good intention in this statement by the disciples and I believe they truly meant what they said. In the moment, when there was no inclination that adversity would arise, the disciples were truly willing to die for Jesus. But when the crowd came to take him and the mob was angry and Jesus did not fight against them, the hearts of the disciples melted away in fear. And so they fled.

I feel this passage as it resonates within my own heart. Images and clips of my life begin to replay in my mind of my good intentions throughout life that I never lived up to. Times where I was emphatic about following Jesus no matter the cost, yet when the time came to fruition my heart melted away and I fled. Painful memories fill my heart at this time and the enemy uses them as a point of reference for his current lies. Dark deceptive whispers telling me that my failures are too great and my denials are too heinous. The enemy only whispers what I am telling myself, which reinforces the deception.

For the lie isn’t that the enemy is reminding me of past failure. No that is actually true. The lie is that my failure inhibits, diminishes, or destroys the love of Christ for me. The lie that my heart wants to believe is that I have betrayed my Savior and my Savior will cast me away in disgust. My heart knows that fellowship has been broken and my failure is real and painful.

Then Jesus arrives and reminds me that he has paid the penalty for my sin and betrayal. All of them. Every last one. I want to believe that my failure defines me. I think that what’s most important is what I do. But the truth is, that the most important is Jesus. His work is salvation is superior. He is the central focus. He is the one my heart is reacting to. His forgiveness. His steadfastness. His love and mercy and grace. He takes my failure and transforms it into a means of grace in my life. That failure that burns deep in me is turning from a source of shame to a means of seeing God’s good and righteous hand working in my life. Bringing me back to him.

From good intentions… To failure… To grace. What a beautiful reminder of the love of Christ in my life. He doesn’t disown me; he draws me closer. In repentance and faith my wounded heart is healed. He sets me right again before him in his presence to enjoy fellowship and communion. His love and mercy and grace are me every morning.

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